The Ripple: The Language of Rivers

When Rivers Talk, They Speak River, Not English

Last summer a great non-profit that spends all its time and resources trying to keep our rivers and streams healthy, the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance (MRA), put out a short and illuminating educational video called “If Rivers Could Talk.” It features scientists, activists and recreationalists from around the state sharing their tales of how they love their rivers, and what they are doing to care for them.

The field environmental philosophy school I run, Biocitizen, was asked by MRA to participate in this educational project, in part because of the “citizen science” Rapid Biotic Assessments we do with Hilltown Families every year in the late Summer, and in part because we are always using the Westfield River as an outdoor classroom. It was an honor and joy to express our love for the Westfield, which is one of cleanest and wildest rivers in southern New England.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 4-8, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 2nd & 3rd, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 2nd-8th for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements, Ongoing Story Hours & Playgroups and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Biology to Theater, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

July 2-8, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Fireworks & Parades  Art Studies ♦ STEM ♦ Rube Goldberg Machines ♦History ♦ Cemetery Walk ♦ Food ♦ Theater ♦ Sports ♦Water Skiing ♦ Music Studies ♦ Percussion ♦Placemaking ♦ Lawn ConcertsLiteracyImmigration StudiesNature ScienceHerpetologyAstronomy ♦ Collaborative Consumption

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Time to Talk: 11 Apps to Support Children’s Language Skills
  2. Pressing Plants and Flowers Supports Summer Learning & Memories
  3. Literary Guide for Lois Lowry’s “Gathering Blue”
  4. Under the Hat: Counting and Key Changes
  5. Hindsight Parenting: The Bumpy Inconsistent Emotional Journey of Parenthood

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29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Biology to Theater.

Check out the beautiful view around the Oxbow marina while you witness the Oxbow Water Ski Show Team build pyramids 3-4 people high, flip through the air and other more. Come see what they can do at this fast-paced water ski show. In addition to being dazzled and entertained, integrate the excitement into learning about physics by thinking deeply about water skiing and certain concepts of physics, including Newtown’s Third Law of Motion, Reynolds number, and gravity.

Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Nature Science to Theater. Food History to Rube Goldberg Machines. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Marches and parades can be a form of celebration, as well as a means of demonstrating for change, or both! The first ever “Interdependence Day” parade on Saturday, July 2 at 1pm will serve as a celebration of the world we all love, as well as a call to action against gas leaks and other environmental threats. The parade will come from four directions and also feature The Expandable Brass Band, puppets, and children’s theater. Everyone is invited to march in the parade and offers an opportunity to engage in creative-free play, placemaking and learning about community environmental concerns. Arrive at noon if interested in participating, and call 413-268-3588 for information on where to meet. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ STEM ♦ Rube Goldberg Machines ♦ History ♦ Cemetery Walk ♦ Food ♦ Theater ♦ Sports ♦ Water Skiing ♦ Music Studies ♦ Percussion ♦ Placemaking ♦ Lawn ConcertsLiteracyImmigration StudiesNature ScienceHerpetologyAstronomyCollaborative Consumption


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for July 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Community engagement and socialization are so important for youth to gain experiences that will enrich their souls. Hilltown Families is an essential tool for our family, as we are able to get the highlights and happenings in the valley. Without it, we’d have a whole lot more research to do that would take time out of our schedule giving us less opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic activities we’ve learned about with Hilltown Families.” – Tara Palmer Finn (Springfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

70 summer camps & programs in and around western MA to choose from this year!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens!

Bulletin Board

Jul 4 – Aug 7

The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance, July 4-August 7. KoFest is celebrating 25 Years of Summer Theater in Amherst with five weeks of original & compelling theatre for teens and adults, including a Gala Cabaret and a KoFest Story Slam & Party. Plus a one-time family event, The Little Farm Show, a musical extravaganza about farming, food, and the environment, on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn. Also 3 intensive workshop weeks for adults: “Dynamic Space/Poetic Object: Scenic Design, “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance” and “Solo Performance.” All on the Amherst College campus. Tickets $8-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. For info, visit kofest.com The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!

Jul 5 – Aug 12

Great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday. It’s the Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums, July 5th through August 12th. Enjoy puppet shows every Friday by the Tanglewood Marionettes, performances by The Yo-Yo People and Mr. Vinny the Bubbly Guy, plus planetarium shows and special exhibits like The Scoop on Poop. Fight Summer Slide at the Springfield Museums! For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Preschool Openings at The Common School in Amherst. What is the best way to insure a quality education for your child? Invest in it early. The Common School provides the foundation for life-long learning by emphasizing how to learn. Experiential activities, a strong social curriculum, environmental awareness and imagination are hallmarks of our pre-school program- paving the way for strong academic success. Openings for 3-5 year olds for Fall 2016. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.org.

Jul 5

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 5th at 3pm: Cupcake Decorating. Get creative and enjoy a tasty treat! The Odyssey returns with their most popular event of the summer! Frost and decorate your cupcake in your favorite color or in a rainbow explosion! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 8-10 & 15-16

PaintBox Theatre kicks off the summer with Linda Tardif as Raggedy Ann, the living doll. Eight stories folded into one big production? Why not? But if Linda is Ann, who will play the dozens of additional characters? No problem: Myka Plunkett and Connor Paradis can do it all! With costume changes galore, we are certainly in for a wild time. They may even draft members of the audience to help. Performances are Fri. July 8, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 9 and 10, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 15, 7:00 pm, Sat. July 16, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Season Tickets: $24. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 2-8, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets
Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 27-July 1, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 25th & 26th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 25th-July 1st for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements  & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local for 30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

June 25-July 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

EntomologyHistoryPerformance ArtPlacemakingLabyrinthFitnessQuidditchLiteracyWomen’s StudiesPlant and Soil ScienceCreative Free PlaySTEMAstronomy

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Fibonacci Sequence & Golden Ratio Drive Nature Based Education
  2. The Garden Plot: Tending Gardens & Family Learning Opportunities
  3. Let Them Grow: Creating Child Friendly Food Experience
  4. HFVS All Kinds of Families Episode with Guest DJ, Alastair Moock (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. Picky Eaters, Part 1: The Root

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30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing.

Lavender is a plant which can teach us about local culture, farming, aromatherapy, and culinary arts. The Lavender Festival at Johnson Hill Farm will provide lots of ways for people of all ages to learn about lavender farming and production.

Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing. Yoga to Coding. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Families are invited to celebrate the Connecticut River and the ways in which it has impacted settlement patterns, economy, culture, and ecology. The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s River Celebration will involve river activities, food, and a presentation from naturalist speaker Laurie Sanders. On Saturday, June 25, from 9am-3pm you will have chances to tour the river, listen to live music, and celebrate nature with friends. Registration is required through the Watershed Council’s website. Brunelle’s Marina. 1 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE).

EntomologyHistoryPerformance ArtPlacemakingLabyrinthFitnessQuidditchLiteracyWomen’s StudiesPlant and Soil ScienceCreative Free PlaySTEMAstronomy


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 25th- July 1st, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is THE best resource for activities for children and families in Western Mass, in my opinion! I have found that you have certain happenings on your page that I had not seen advertised anywhere else! That makes you my ‘go to’ resource! And I really like the areas you cover as well…I can find an activity in Greenfield, Deerfield, Westfield or Springfield…or anywhere on between! You also give very complete information on the events you are suggesting to your audience. What’s not to like? Hilltown Families is THE best!” – Christine Bray (Ludlow, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Preschool Openings at The Common School in Amherst. What is the best way to insure a quality education for your child? Invest in it early. The Common School provides the foundation for life-long learning by emphasizing how to learn. Experiential activities, a strong social curriculum, environmental awareness and imagination are hallmarks of our pre-school program- paving the way for strong academic success. Openings for 3-5 year olds for Fall 2016. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.org.

Jun 28

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, June 28th at 3pm: Make Your Own Night Light. For campers young and old. Decorate a jar to make a beautiful night light or candle holder! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks such as solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith College campus, with free parking provided. Participation is also a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office at 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come into the lab!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 25-July 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 20-24, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 18th & 19th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 18th-24th for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements  & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Physics to Folk Music. Agriculture to Road Races, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

June 18-24, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Art Studies ♦ Picture Books ♦ Literacy Biology Entomology ♦ STEM ♦ Physics ♦ Music Studies ♦ History ♦ Placemaking ♦ Sports & Recreation ♦ Skateboarding ♦ Bubble Soccer ♦ Food Culture ♦ Strawberry Fest ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Agricultural History  ♦ Dance Studies Father’s Day

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Empowering Our Girls: Being a Role Model
  2. 4 Community Organizations that Support Learning on the River
  3. What to Play? Summer is Time to Absorb the World
  4. Hindsight Parenting: Nothing Beats Planning for the Summer
  5. Strawberries Take Center Stage in Western MA Moonlight

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Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Physics to Folk Music. Agriculture to Road Races.

Physics to folk music. Agriculture to road races. Sculpture to strawberry festivals. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

In addition to being great exercise and a fun, social activity, skateboarding can inspire kids to become interested in science! Skateboarders performing tricks are actively engaging with scientific principles such as momentum, gravity, friction, and centripetal force.

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Do you and your children enjoy learning about history through demonstrations and artwork? August 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is currently exhibiting an art installation in honor of the National Park Service. You can come see this exhibition and learn about American war history on Armory Day, Saturday, June 18, 10am-5pm. A full day of events will include military drills with living history reenactors, primary source documents such as WWI videos and letters, and much more. Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site website for a full schedule of events.413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)


Art Studies ♦ Picture Books ♦ Literacy Biology Entomology ♦ STEM ♦ Physics ♦ Music Studies ♦ History ♦ Placemaking ♦ Sports & Recreation ♦ Skateboarding ♦ Bubble Soccer ♦ Food Culture ♦ Strawberry Fest ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Agricultural History  ♦Dance Studies


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 18th-24th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is my link to all events in Western MA, and I am unsure what I would do without all of the eNewsletter and updates. I also found skating, sledding festivals, and swimming locations from Hilltown Families. It is a very valuable resource for my family.” – Susan Wessels (Chester, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Flexible Toddler Schedules at the Montessori School of Northampton: For summer and the school year, the Montessori School of Northampton provides flexible toddler programs for children ages 2 to 2 years 11 months. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect setting for a toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. Flexible full and half day school year schedules are available, as well as four two-week summer sessions running from June 27-August 19. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

Jun 16, Jul 15 & Aug 19

The Amherst Business District is happy to announce the Amherst Community Band, led by Timothy Anderson (Director of the UMass Minuteman Marching Band) will be performing in its Downtown Beats Summer Concert series. The Free Concerts will be held in Sweetser Park (with the historic fountain) on June 16, July 15, and August 19 from 6:30-8pm. Rain location is the First Congregational Church. Enjoy the stirring sounds of a mini orchestra, complete with brass and string playing popular and classic tunes. Picnic in Sweetser with some famous downtown take out. Simple. Easy. Enjoy!

A pre-school experience that savors childhood. Nature walks by woods and stream, days of music and song, toys made of natural materials, nourishing, shared meals: these are parts of the young child’s daily rhythm at The Hartsbrook School. Led by experienced, nurturing teachers, the early childhood program supports imagination and joyful play. Give your child the foundation for future learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. The Hartsbrook School has limited openings for children 2.9 to 5 years old. Applications accepted through the end of June. Please call for more information and a tour of the school. 413-586-1908 x115, 193 Bay Road, Hadley.

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks such as solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith College campus, with free parking provided. Participation is also a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office at 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come into the lab!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 18-24, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 13-17, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 11th & 12th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 11th-17th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 44 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stamps to Hip Hop. Jam to Bike Safety., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

June 11-17, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Architecture ♦ Ancient History ♦ Numismatics ♦ Civil Rights ♦ Sustainability ♦ Makerspace ♦ Agriculture ♦ Father’s DayHorticulture ♦ Music Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Placemaking ♦ Artisan Skills ♦ Sports ♦ Strategy ♦ Art Studies ♦ Reading ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 14 Playgrounds Recommendations in Western MA!
  2. Learning Landscapes: Catch and Store Energy
  3. 12 Baseball Books for Kids
  4. Expressing Appreciation to Teachers & Administrators as the School Year Draws to an End
  5. 12 Tips for Live-Away Dads

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44 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stamps to Hip Hop. Jam to Bike Safety.

Bicycling is a great sport and hobby, and a wonderful way to explore your neighborhood or other local areas on a bike trail adventure! Make sure the bike riders in your family know how to be safe riders. Participating in a bike rodeo is one great way to gain confidence and important skills.

Stamps to hip hop. Jam to bike safety. Tinkering to fencing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Do you love to express yourself through motion, or to watch others tell a story without saying a word? Perhaps there is a dance style you’ve always wanted to try but have never had the chance? Dance is a physical and mental workout involving spatial relationship skills, coordination, and memory. Plus, it is an interesting way to communicate and a fun way to exercise! At Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, which begins on Saturday, June 11, at noon, you can try modern dance, Zumba, and hip hop. You can also watch performances by EarthDance, Berkshire Pulse, Olga Dunn Dance Company and Albany Berkshire Ballet. This all-ages community festival will also involve historic tours, storytimes, scavenger hunts and more. Visit the Jacob’s Pillow website for more information and a schedule of events. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)


Architecture ♦ Ancient History ♦ Numismatics ♦ Civil Rights ♦ Sustainability ♦ Makerspace ♦ Agriculture ♦ Father’s Day ♦ Horticulture ♦ Music Studies ♦ Dance Studies ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Placemaking ♦ Artisan Skills ♦ Sports ♦ Strategy ♦ Art Studies ♦ Reading ♦ Parenting


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Suggested Events for June 11th-17th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 16, Jul 15 & Aug 19

The Amherst Business District is happy to announce the Amherst Community Band, led by Timothy Anderson (Director of the UMass Minuteman Marching Band) will be performing in its Downtown Beats Summer Concert series. The Free Concerts will be held in Sweetser Park (with the historic fountain) on June 16, July 15, and August 19 from 6:30-8pm. Rain location is the First Congregational Church. Enjoy the stirring sounds of a mini orchestra, complete with brass and string playing popular and classic tunes. Picnic in Sweetser with some famous downtown take out. Simple. Easy. Enjoy!

Flexible Toddler Schedules at the Montessori School of Northampton: For summer and the school year, the Montessori School of Northampton provides flexible toddler programs for children ages 2 to 2 years 11 months. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect setting for a toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. Flexible full and half day school year schedules are available, as well as four two-week summer sessions running from June 27-August 19. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

A pre-school experience that savors childhood. Nature walks by woods and stream, days of music and song, toys made of natural materials, nourishing, shared meals: these are parts of the young child’s daily rhythm at The Hartsbrook School. Led by experienced, nurturing teachers, the early childhood program supports imagination and joyful play. Give your child the foundation for future learning and enjoy a vibrant parent community. The Hartsbrook School has limited openings for children 2.9 to 5 years old. Applications accepted through the end of June. Please call for more information and a tour of the school. 413-586-1908 x115, 193 Bay Road, Hadley.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 11-17, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 6th-10th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 4th & 5th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 4th-June 10th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Asparagus to Anthropology. Fishing to Fairy Tales, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

June 4-10, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Engineering ♦ Geology ♦ Placemaking ♦ Conservation Biology ♦ Fly Fishing ♦ Boating ♦ Poetry ♦ Children’s Literature ♦ Puppetry ♦ Local History ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Gardening ♦ Nutrition ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Parenting Green: Facilitating the Climate Change Conversation
  2. Bee Condos: Steps Away from Sweet Educational Opportunities
  3. Museum Adventures: Yiddish Book Center
  4. Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Resources that Support Garden-Based Learning
  5. Time to Talk: Helping Our Kids Explain

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38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Asparagus to Anthropology. Fishing to Fairy Tales.

The art of tying flies for fly fishing combines scientific knowledge, fine motor skills, and creativity. While many flies are created for use as bait, some are created for artistic displays. Learn more about fly-tying, as well as various fishing techniques, at this week’s fishing events!

Asparagus to anthropology. Fishing to fairy tales. Engineering to rowing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:If you live in Hadley, you probably know that your town is considered the asparagus capital of the world, with this plant popping up so frequently that people call it “Hadley grass.” Come to the 2016 WGBY Asparagus Festival to buy fresh asparagus and other produce at the farmers’ market, shop locally sourced items at the makers’ market, and enjoy live music. And stop by the Hilltown Families’ Pop-Up Open House! Besides asparagus in its natural form, you can also taste test unique uses of the food, like asparagus ice cream! There will be plenty for kids to do, including a cooking workshop. Hadley town commons. Route 9/Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (MARKET/SALE)


Engineering ♦ GeologyPlacemakingConservation BiologyFly FishingBoatingPoetryChildren’s LiteraturePuppetry ♦ Local HistoryCultural StudiesGardeningNutritionParenting


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Suggested Events for June 4th-10th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 4

Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst for their 11th Annual Children’s Book Festival: Games Galore on Saturday, June 4, from 10am-4pm. The event celebrates games—from scavenger hunts and board games to art projects and outdoor fun! Families can play oversized games like Connect Four, Checkers or giant Jenga, as well as enjoy a nature scavenger hunt through the Museum’s grounds. Enjoy the amazing Yo-Yo People. Games Galore welcomes artists Emily Neuburger who will create hairdo shaped papers and Jeff Mack will read from his new book, Playtime?. Visitors can also create their own board games in The Carle’s Art Studio. All activities are free with Museum admission. See www.carlemuseum.org for schedule or call 413-658-1100.

Jun 5

Join Lander-Grinspoon Academy for a day of carnival fun! When? Sunday, June 5th. Where? LGA, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. There will be Games, Prizes, Face painting, Dunk tank, Bounce obstacle course and more! Food & drink from Holyoke Hummus Company, Chanterelle-To-Go, LGA Bake shop, Herrell’s Ice Cream & Fort Hill Brewery. Tons of fun for the entire family. Event takes place rain or shine. Entrance is free but activities will require tickets. Email office@landergrinspoon.org if you have any questions.

Jun 5

Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “Raising Spiritually Intelligent Children,” a Sunday, June 5 workshop at Eastworks in Easthampton, MA with author, psychologist, and teacher Dr. Christopher Willard. Participants will learn how to cultivate virtues like Effort, Patience, Determination, Truthfulness, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity. Dr. Willard is the author of Child’s Mind, Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, and Growing Up Mindful. This workshop is appropriate for parents, caregivers, educators, therapists, social workers, and all who work with and care about the next generation. Suggested contribution: $25-$40 plus a voluntary donation to Dr. Willard. Please pre-register. Questions: general@insightpv.org.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

Now Hiring

Tinkergarten, a fast-growing Northampton-based company with the mission to get kids learning through outdoor play, is currently hiring for the PT position of Parks & Green Space Advocate. This position is responsible for liaising between Tinkergarten and the parks and greenspaces nationally in which they run their programs. The ideal candidate is an exceptional diplomat, negotiator and communicator; enjoys advocating for an idea, cause or mission; and is excited about the fluidity, informality, and fast pace of working for a startup. For more information, see tinkergarten.com. If interested, send your LinkedIn profile or resume and a note about why you are interested in the role to support@tinkergarten.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 4-10, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Culinary & Cultural Education via Local Resources & Events

Nutritional Anthropology and Culinary Education

Every culture has its own set of values, rituals, and traditions surrounding food. The staple ingredients, indulgences, and forbidden fruits of a given culture are influenced by agricultural systems, habitat, ethical concepts, and religious beliefs. Holidays and celebrations around the world are associated with traditional and ritual foods. Have you ever wondered why birthday cakes are round? Or why latkes are fried during Hanukkah and Buche de Noel’s are baked at Christmas? Food traditions from fish on Friday to turkey on Thanksgiving are rich in history and a delicious lens for learning about culture.

In western Massachusetts, community meals and culinary workshops offer opportunities for learning about culture through food. The Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts, for example, periodically offers culinary classes, teaching participants to make traditional Italian foods such as gnocchi and tortellini. You can also learn about nutritional anthropology through other culinary art traditions by attending cultural events like the Greek Glendi in Springfield, dining on authentic Tibetan cooking at Lhasa Cafe in Northampton, or shopping at Tran’s World Food Market in Hadley can also expose you to new cultures via food.

Pair your interest in culture via food with a documentary on Israeli cuisine on Sunday, June 5 at 2pm at the Yiddish Book Center. This documentary will teach viewers about the culture of Israli cuisine at a community film screening. The 2016 documentary In Search of Israeli Cuisine poses the question: What is Israeli cuisine? Israel is made up more than 100 different cultures. This film profiles chefs, home cooks, farmers, wine makers, and cheese makers of Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, and Druze faiths. Watching this film can help you connect with your heritage or learn about a new culture through food. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA.


Related archived posts:

Learning Ahead: May 30th-June 3rd, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 21 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events. This week, don’t miss our special listing of Memorial Day events, Memorial Day as a Catalyst for Placemaking, Historical Learning, and Acts of Kindness!


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 28th & 29th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with nearly 70 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 28th-June 3rd, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Agriculture ♦ Culinary Arts ♦ Fiber Arts ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ Physics ♦ Earth Science ♦ Puppetry ♦ Career Studies ♦ Native American Studies ♦ Intergenerational ♦ Children’s Literature ♦ Language Studies ♦ Ornithology ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Tinkering ♦ Theater Arts ♦ Dance ♦ Memorial Day ♦ Music Studies ♦ Service-based Learning

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Oak & Acorn: Rhubarb Crumble in Season
  2. Geocaching & Letterboxing Support Learning and Outdoor Adventures as a Family
  3. Let Them Grow: Backyard Bird Paradise Brings Toddlers Closer to Nature
  4. What to Play? Creative-Free Music Making!
  5. 5 Ways to Prepare Your Child For Summer Camp

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37 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Rhubarb to Woolcraft. Bubbles to Adventure Playgrounds.

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If you love wool, weaving, textiles, fiber arts, or animal husbandry, you won’t want to miss the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! Western MA is full of talented, crafty people, and opportunities to learn or practice your fiber arts skills with them abound throughout the year.

Rhubarb to woolcraft. Bubbles to adventure playgrounds. World music to Shakespeare. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Adventure playgrounds invite children to engage with a variety of open-ended, simple materials (think giant cardboard boxes, tubes, fabric, string, bales of hay) to create the play spaces and experiences they desire. Participating an adventure playground not only stimulates the imagination, it encourages collaboration and builds self-esteem. Visit The Play Workshop‘s pop up playground on Saturday, May 28, from noon until 4pm, to try out this fun, different, joyful type of creative free play! 413-588-2208. Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)


AgricultureCulinary ArtsFiber ArtsAnimal HusbandryPhysicsEarth SciencePuppetryCareer StudiesNative American StudiesIntergenerationalChildren’s LiteratureLanguage StudiesOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTinkeringTheater ArtsDanceMemorial DayMusic StudiesService-based Learning


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 5

Join Lander-Grinspoon Academy for a day of carnival fun! When? Sunday, June 5th. Where? LGA, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. There will be Games, Prizes, Face painting, Dunk tank, Bounce obstacle course and more! Food & drink from Holyoke Hummus Company, Chanterelle-To-Go, LGA Bake shop, Herrell’s Ice Cream & Fort Hill Brewery. Tons of fun for the entire family. Event takes place rain or shine. Entrance is free but activities will require tickets. Email office@landergrinspoon.org if you have any questions.

Jun 5

Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “Raising Spiritually Intelligent Children,” a Sunday, June 5 workshop at Eastworks in Easthampton, MA with author, psychologist, and teacher Dr. Christopher Willard. Participants will learn how to cultivate virtues like Effort, Patience, Determination, Truthfulness, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity. Dr. Willard is the author of Child’s Mind, Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, and Growing Up Mindful. This workshop is appropriate for parents, caregivers, educators, therapists, social workers, and all who work with and care about the next generation. Suggested contribution: $25-$40 plus a voluntary donation to Dr. Willard. Please pre-register. Questions: general@insightpv.org.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

May 28

Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley welcomes local author Megan Lambert & illustrator Nicole Tadgell for a special story time and drawing demo on Saturday, May 28 at 11am for their new picturebook, Real Sisters Pretend. This warm, engaging story, which unfolds entirely through the conversation of two adopted sisters, was inspired by the author’s own daughters, whom she overheard talking about how adoption made them “real sisters” even though they have different birth parents and do not look alike. Event attendees will enjoy cookies & coloring sheets inspired by the book, and are encouraged to add drawings of their own families on a mural to be displayed at the Odyssey. FREE and open to all families, whether or not they have experience with adoption.

Do you like to cook? Want to know how wool gets from a sheep to your mittens? How about how a cow’s milk becomes ice cream or cheese? Ever wonder how cars get all of the cool paint designs? Are you interested in finding out how things are made? How would you like to cruise down the bike path on a skateboard that you built? Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton is offering two weeks of summer programs for students entering grades 6, 7, & 8. Week 1: July 25-28; Week 2: August 1-4. Half day and full day available. For more information, visit smithtec.org or call 587-1414 ext. 3414.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 28th – June 3rd, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Streamcrawling

Streamcrawling

When I started writing this column in 2011, I did so hoping to inspire readers to “make the world of rivers bigger than the world of pavement inside of you!” Rivers are all around us, but they don’t form as much a part of ourselves as roads do. Close your eyes again: can you see a river? How far can you follow it? Does it lead anywhere?

If we close our eyes, we can see roads. Try it yourself— for just a moment, close your eyes and visualize the way to Northampton, Pittsfield, Greenfield or Springfield from your front door. It’s not hard to see mental images of roads, is it? They just appear because they are engraved into our neural systems.

We carry the “environment” inside ourselves. The “environment” is part mental construction, part everything else.

This truth is self-evident, but—after studying the ways we comprehend and fit into the designs of nature for over thirty years—I have yet to read much, or participate in many discussions, about it. True: the concept of “nature deficit disorder” has gained currency, which is good; but, the larger issue of getting more than individuals over the disorder—and getting vast populations over it—can’t even be imagined yet. Individuals can take a long hike every couple of days, or garden, and get over it. But how do the people of NYC, or any other urban inhabitation on earth, get over it? Do these populations even want to get over it? Is there a candidate for public office anywhere running on a platform of ensuring that all citizens get over nature-deficit disorder? Is getting over it “good for the economy?” Can it be considered a “market-based solution?” Is there anyway that Wall St. investors can “financialize” the process, or corporations turn it into a product, or universities turn it into a hot new major? Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 23rd-27th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 21st & 22nd, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 21st-27th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

May 21st-27th, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Reborn! Nature Table for May
  2. Fish Ladder & Lift Elevates Local Learning & Critical Thinking
  3. Learning Landscapes: Empowering Children in Learning Critical Life Skills
  4. Google Lit Trips Puts Literary Characters Back on the Map
  5. Literrariums: The Art & Science of Story Terrariums

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52 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Railroads to Running. Cultural Studies to Coding

Art created by native peoples of the Pacific Northwest offers a vibrant and engaging look into Native cultures, folklore, history, and values. Visit this new exhibit, Finding Raven, at the Berkshire Museum on its opening day, and enjoy special interactive stations to enrich your understanding and appreciation of the techniques, stories, and identities behind the works of art!

Railroads to running. Cultural studies to coding. Gorges to gardening. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Storytelling is a highly empathetic process. When you combine the creative empathy involved in storytelling with the therapeutic effects of expressing yourself through pictures, the activity has a profound impact. Comic books and graphic novels do just this; they force artists and writers to think about people’s emotions, and the social impact of characters’ actions on each other. On Saturday, May 21st, 10:30am-1:30pm, The Lee Library is hosting a Comic Jam, a collaborative storytelling adventure for cartoonists of all ages and abilities. This fun-filled event will encourage participants to think critically, empathetically, and creatively. Each artist will contribute to other artists’ comics, resulting in a highly original work which could not be created by a single individual. No prior experience or ability is required. Participants can drop in any time. 413- 243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)


PlacemakingGamesFitnessEmotional HealthCollaborative ConsumptionNative American StudiesHorticultureFolk DancingIntergenerationalBeekeepingDinosaursPhysicsInventionsCarpentryScrapbookingMusic StudiesGeologyStorytellingImprovPsychologyParenting


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